by Al Sacco

BlackBerrys Taking Up More IT Support Time, Effort Than Any Other Mobile Devices??

Jan 08, 20083 mins
IT Leadership

A recent poll of more than 800 people suggests that IT departments are spending more time and resources supporting Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerrys than any other mobile devices. In fact, the poll suggests that IT’s spending nearly six times as much effort on BlackBerry support than on other mobile gadgets—though there are a number of reasons to question the finding.

The poll question, which was posted on two Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) websites from September 19 to October 26 of last year, was as follows:

“Which of the following mobile devices does your organization’s IT department spend the most time and resources supporting?”

Note the question is aimed at anyone who works for an organization with an IT department. And the Web-poll was open to anybody who happened to find there way there. So anyone from personal assistants to CFOs could vote, though it seems unlikely anyone without at least a minor interest in technology would be visiting the CompTIA site.

I think the majority of companies support many more BlackBerrys than they do pagers, MP3 players or Tablet PCs, so it stands to reason that they spend more time on supporting BlackBerrys than these other devices, but what about laptops? I question whether or not the average IT department spends more time on BlackBerry management than they do laptop management. I know I’ve had far more issues that I couldn’t resolve myself without IT assistance related to my ThinkPad T60 than I have with my BlackBerry. (To be fair, I am fairly BlackBerry savvy after reviewing and using various models for quite some time now.)

The poll options also seem a bit off to me. Here’s the list of possible answers and the number or respondents’ votes they each received:

  1. BlackBerrys:  65.7 percent

  2. Pagers:  10.9 percent

  3. Digital Music Players:  4.5 percent

  4. Handheld Computers:  4 percent

  5. PDAs:  2.9 percent

  6. Cell Phones 2.6 percent

  7. iPhones:  2.3 percent

  8. Laptop Computers:  2 percent

  9. Smartphones:  0.5 percent

  10. Tablet PCs:  0.5 percent

  11. Other:  4 percent

First of all, who uses pagers anymore? And what IT departments support them? If you use a pager or you are an IT staffer who supports them, please drop me a comment on this post and let me know what you use them for.

Secondly, many of the 11 possible answers could fall into a single category. For instance, a BlackBerry is a handheld computer, a digital music player, a smartphone and a cell phone. The same can be said for iPhones. And there was no definition for each option provided on the CompTIA site, so that kind of skews the results.

I also don’t know of too many IT departments that support standalone digital music players or iPods, do you? Including digital music players as an option in the poll seems bizarre, as well. But that’s just me.

What do you think? Does your IT department spend more time managing BlackBerrys than any other mobile devices?

If not, do you use any BlackBerry troubleshooting or issue resolution products, like Zenprise for BlackBerry? And which mobile devices do you spend the most time supporting?